Mobil Outlaw first to reach Store Bay at bmobile and TTPBA's Great Race
TSTT Corporate Communications
Despite minor challenges, Mobil Outlaw was the first boat to reach to Tobago in the 2020 Trinidad and Tobago Great Race.
On Saturday, 23 boats battled in six different race classes as the 52nd edition of the race, hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Power Boat Association (TTPBA) and sponsored by bmobile, got underway. The race which streamed live on the TTPBA and bmobile Facebook pages, began at Williams Bay, Ch¬aguara¬mas in Trinidad at 7am, racing to the Store Bay Beach facility in Tobago.
General Manager Enterprise Services of TSTT, Ian Galt, said bmobile was honoured to yet again collaborate with the TTPBA, “we are proud to be the technology partner for the Great Race for a second year.” He added that the company will continue to aid in the sustainable development of sports nationally. “bmobile is committed to supporting our national sports, as well as our nation, through the provision of the latest in telecommunication products and services. We understand the grave impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, especially in the sports arena, and we remain committed to investing and strengthening this country with technologically driven assistance as we adapt to the new way of doing things. bmobile congratulates the TTPBA on working with the numerous Ministries to ensure that this historic event on T&T’s sporting calendar was able to take place, we congratulate all competitors and thank them for keeping the race safe and observing all protocols.”
Mobil Outlaw owned by the Ross cousins; Jason and Michael Ross, was the first boat to reach Store Bay was adjudged winner in the 80- miles-per-hour (mph) category. Speaking after his win, Jason said he expected to win in his class but never thought he would have been the first boat to complete the racecourse. “In the lead up to the race, we had some challenges with the fuel tank. We also experienced issues with the foam on the way to Tobago which we only realised when we reached to Tobago, so we are very happy for this win.”
Jason has competed in the event eight times, he has raced Mobil Outlaw five times, winning four times. He described the sea conditions during the journey as rough. He commented that, “The sea conditions were rough, there were one or two patches that weren’t that bad, but the general conditions were rough. It may look calm from the air and aerial pictures from boats and so on but when you’re actually in a race boat, it’s challenging.”
In 2019, the Great Race was live streamed for the first time with over 100,000 viewers globally and in 2020, this experimental add-on feature became the cornerstone of this year’s race to allow the annual crowds of supporters to still enjoy the race from the comfort of their homes by ensuring that the race can still be held in the midst of a pandemic. Over 138,000 viewers took in the live action via the stream this year.
As beaches remain closed, spectators were not allowed to gather at either the start or end of the racecourse therefore racers could not celebrate in their usual style. Jason said, “We celebrated via phone calls and messages. As a result of the restrictions imposed, we raced and returned home the same day.”
In the 130-mph class, Big Thunder navigated by Alan Pereira and Buxo dethroned 2019 class winner veteran racer Ken Charles and his Mr Solo Too crew, who were aiming for their 18th title. Mr Solo Too broke down early failing to complete the racecourse. Pereira described this achievement as “Great”. “I feel good following the fact that we had months of preparation to prepare for the Great Race. It is indeed a great accomplishment for an event that has been happening for 52 years.”
The 2019, 95mph class winner, Energiza, managed to retain the class win being the only competitor on the day. Energiza’s driver, Sheldon Edghill, said “We were 100% ready for the race but then when we started going up the north coast, we took some heavy swells and that took a toll on both the throttleman and myself. At that point in time, we couldn’t push as hard as we wanted to but that is the nature of offshore racing,”. He noted that this was his 15th year of racing in the Great Race.
Marcus Gomez, TTPBA President said for him, safety was of utmost priority. He commented, “I was very happy that the weather had held out for us and that all the racers were able to have a very good race where we had a very high finish rate. Normally, the breakdown rate is very high, this year we had 23 boats start and 19 finished so it was a very good year.”
Three of the boats failed to start the race, while four faced troubles along the route and were unable to complete. He said modern technology featured prominently in this year’s race and bmobile played a critical role to help drive the success of the event. “Even with the challenges, we were able to keep people up to date with what was happening. The livestream is the way forward.”
From the registered boats, five were from Tobago with no international racers. Noteworthy is the fact that there was a new winner in five of the six categories.